Since fighting first broke out in Syria in March 2011, the crisis has unfolded to become a large-scale civil war, with an estimated 12.2 million people in need. Half of all Syrians have been forced to flee their homes. According to UNICEF, more than 5.6 million children remain trapped inside Syria in dire situations of displacement, poverty and crossfire. Children have been a major victim of this conflict as they continue to be killed, injured and detained, while also facing severe deprivation of their basic rights including to education and healthcare.
As the conflict continues more and more children are being forced to drop out of school to engage in hazardous labour or are becoming involved with armed groups. In the eight governorates in northern Syria, there are an estimated 1.7 million (56 percent) school age children and youth out of school.
Save the Children has been at the forefront of the Syria crisis since 2012 to provide immediate relief, keep children safe and support protective education delivery.
Before the war, almost all of children in Syria were enrolled in school. Now, as we enter the fifth year of the conflict, Syria has the second worst enrolment rate in the world.
The economic and social collapse in Syria has reversed decades of educational achievement and is creating a lost generation of children and youth excluded from formal and non-formal learning opportunities.
In a Camp for internally displaced people inside Syria, Save the Children will establish a Child Friendly Space providing child protection and education activities for children and youth with the support of Swiss Re Foundation. This Space is offering both recreational activities and education to the children of 223 families.
While providing a nurturing and safe environment for youth to access structured play, leisure and learning activities to help restore a sense of normality in their lives, the Child Friendly Space will act as a core hub to establish child protection interventions. This includes age and gender-sensitive structured psychosocial support to children and youth, mother-toddler groups, a case management system to identify vulnerable children and provide appropriate support, while follow-up and referral to other services will be available. The Child Friendly Space will also include activities for parents and caregivers, to raise their awareness on child/youth development. Access to basic education opportunities for the children in the camp do barely exist, hence Save the Children will, in close coordination and collaboration with local schools, working into existing formal education structures also supporting the educational infrastructure as well as emphasizing the sustainability aspect.